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Draft tea regulations need revision - tea traders

The Association suggests that the regulations should implement the public policy in the Kenya Vision 2030

In Summary
  • The Mombasa Auction said that the Cabinet Secretary Agriculture made a presentation of the final Tea Regulations on May 21, 2020 without presentation of the Regulatory Impact Assessment Statement that would test their socioeconomic worthwhileness.
  • The performance of the tea industry is vital to the Kenyan economy as it accounts for approximately 26 per cent of Kenya’s export earnings and is one of the leading foreign exchange earners contributing over Sh117 billion in 2019.
Farmers picking tea in Kangaita village
'TEA IS AN INVESTMENT': Farmers picking tea in Kangaita village
Image: FILE

The East African Tea Trade Association(EATTA) has requested for the draft Tea Regulation to be further revised to incorporate more suggestions from the stakeholders.

The Mombasa Auction said that the Cabinet Secretary Agriculture made a presentation of the final Tea Regulations on May 21, 2020 without presentation of the Regulatory Impact Assessment Statement that would test their socioeconomic worthwhileness.

“Our assessment clearly indicates that most of the views of the tea stakeholders were not taken into account and more punitive measures were introduced in total disregard of what had been presented during the public hearing window of two weeks,” said Edward Mudibo, Managing Director EATTA.

The Association suggests that the regulations should implement the public policy in the Kenya Vision 2030, as enunciated in the Crops Act and achieve improvement in tea productivity and competitiveness

They should also better implement the objectives of the Crops Act on development and growth in tea industry, improvement in investment climate and efficiency of agribusiness, and rationalization to achieve reduction in unnecessary levies, taxes or other barriers to free movement of tea products.

The regulations should also remove conflicts, contradictions and contraventions with treaties, the Constitution of Kenya, the Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service Act, the Competition Act, the Standards Act, the Companies Act, and the Customs and Excise Act.

“After revision, the regulations should be subjected to a Regulatory Impact Assessment to test their socioeconomic worthwhileness and the final draft be notified to the World Trade Organization as required in Article 7 of the WTO Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures,” said Mudibo.

He said this would ensure that comments from the internal community that consume Kenyan tea can be received and considered.

The performance of the tea industry is vital to the Kenyan economy as it accounts for approximately 26 per cent of Kenya’s export earnings and is one of the leading foreign exchange earners contributing over Sh117 billion in 2019.

The tea industry contributes about 4 per cent  to the GDP with  more than 750,000 farmers directly earning a living from tea.